New York – Lipa Video Highlights White House Rubashkin Petition

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    In this image grab from the YouTube clip shows Lipa signing the petition with Rubashkin's children looking onNew York – A YouTube clip asking the public to perform the mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuyim before Yom Kippur by signing a White House petition supporting Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, hopes to make the Rubashkin petition the most popular petition in the Obama administration’s newly created We The People program. The petition, asking the White House to investigate prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the Rubashkin case, has over 26,000 signatures and is currently ranked third on the White House site.

    The clip, produced by Danny Finkelman and featuring Lipa Schmeltzer and several of the Rubashkin children, shows Lipa racing to the Rubashkin house on Erev Yom Kippur to sign the petition and telling the congregants at his Airmont Shul that in the merit of having added their names to the petition they will be sealed for a year of life.

    “When I got a call from the askanim telling me they needed me immediately for this mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim, I cancelled all my appointments and said ‘let’s do this right now,’” Schmeltzer told VIN News. “ Not only am I hoping that this will bring justice for Sholom Mordechai but it was a wonderful experience for the Rubashkin children during this busy yom tov time when everyone needs a father.”

    Finkelman, who also produced the Unity video featuring numerous Jewish music stars to raise money for the Rubashkin cause, came up with the idea for the video just yesterday and the video was shot in a matter of hours so that it could be ready before Yom Kippur. He hopes to surpass the most popular petition which has over 50,000 signatures, by getting more awareness.

    “This could be the silver lining factor in getting the Department of Justice to investigate this case which has been mishandled from the start,” Finkelman told VIN News. “The Rambam says that Pidyon Shevuyim is the greatest of all mitzvos and we hope that by showing the White House how strongly the public feels about this miscarriage of justice, perhaps justice will finally prevail. With Yom Kippur almost upon us, as people look to do good deeds, everyone should please take it upon themselves to do this great mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuyim by signing the petition right now to help Sholom Mordechai.”

    To sign the petition, go to http://wh.gov/gWM.

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    40 COMMENTS

    1. Come on…. This is the ultimate form of propaganda! Using to celebrity to sway public opinion for a cause.

      As much as I would love to see Rubashkin not sit for 27 years, it’s highly unlikely that the White House could have any real effect on his current predicament. His future has been dictated by the decisions of the judiciary, so under the Constitutional “separation of powers” doctrine the Executive branch can’t do much with it.

      Why doesn’t our leadership use the opportunity to teach lessons from this situation rather than just yelling and screaming about the “injustice.”

      • We are teaching them one of the most valuable lessons of being a yid! Pidyon Shvuyim! Think of the words pidyon shvuyim…then learn when it applies! Right now we have this opportunity to free a yid and u spew hate? Moshiach now!

        • Amanda Knox was freed yesterday by a court in Rome who looked at the evidence and concluded she was innocent of murder. I don’t recall Lipa or anyone else here preparing videos or seeking her freedom. The courts have reviewed the SMR matter and concluded he was guilty and the appeals court has reviewed the sentence and concluded it was appropriate. I think its excessive but don’t believe for a moment that his status should be the focus of the Jewish community. Pidyon shavuim would be appropriate for an innocent man imprisoned. By his own words, SMR acknowledged he violated federal law but claimed he was too simple minded to understand what he was doing was wrong or he didn’t understand business matters. If this is what we should be focusing on eruv yom kippur, its really sad.

      • Where exactly do you see here swaying opinions? All I see is the Rubashkin people trying to get the message out about the existence of the petition, thats all.

        And I’m not exactly sure what’s your point about teaching a lesson, do you think that this petition will encourage people to continue committing fraud on the premise that we’ll petition the white house? Or if I sign the petition then I didn’t learn a lesson?

        And about results and effects, well, have you heard of the concept of presidantial pardons or commuting a sentence, the executive branch has all the power to do just that when it sees fit.

    2. Not only am I hoping that this will bring justice for Sholom Mordechai but it was a wonderful experience for the Rubashkin children during this busy yom tov time when everyone needs a father.

      what bout justice for the people who SMTR hurt

    3. Same silly publicity stunts that have never helped and will not help. Falling for an election year stunt. Not sure how many on this blog took civics in school but they have this little thing called separation of powers and a DOJ investigation is not going to yield a 5 minute reduction in sentence. Such an investigation misses the point – it relies on blaming the system, the Feds, ICE and the judge for Rubashkin’s crimes and not Rubashkin for doing anything wrong. And how signing an internet petition fulfills pidyon shvuyim is altogether silly but that’s what publicity stunts are. Lipa what’s next, a swin in the Hudson for a refuah shleimah for the victim’s of yesterday’s helicopter crash?

      • If you think that this Will not help, please don’t sign your holy name on this petition, but please don’t try to convince everybody around you, its aseres yemei teshuva!

        • Perhaps you can educate me and the oilem in how this petition will help? Because from where I sit there is no mechanism within the powers of the executive branch for Obama to have any affect on Rubashkin’s sentence save a pardon or a commutation of sentence – applications of both of which are severely premature and will be for quite some time.

          It’s like a joke, I mean, you think that Obama is going to wake up one day and say, wow, 100 million people signed the petition, I better call the warden at Otisville right away and tell him to call a car service for SMR.

          Here’s what the petition will get you – White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

          Here’s a summary of the upcoming “official response:”
          President Obama takes the great laws of our land very seriously. No one, not members of government, the judiciary, or the citizens of this country, are above the law. This office will make every effort to insure that every citizen receives a fair trial and if there is any actionable evidence related to this case, we will do everything we can to make sure that justice is served.”

          Shkoyach.

          • well shaul my friend, its hard to explain to people like you why we have so much hope and optimizm even though it may seem there is no hope,

            well, we are religious people beleiving in the Jewish faith, i’m not sure you’ve heard about that religion, by us we don’t get discouraged by making calculations and logical analysis, we do whatever we can to help a fellow yid, and leave the rest to HASHEM [the jewish GOD], we beleive that hashem is perfectly capable to defy all the odds and release SMR today,

            at the moment this is the only logical thing we can do for SRM, we just do it without making any cheshbonos.

            • You can get 100,000. Won’t do anything. Maybe use this energy for something meaningful, like helping the poor or something? Not that helping rich criminals isn’t useful, I suppose.

        • 26,000 sheep think they did something when they did nothing. BORUCH HASHEM I have more seichel. 26,000 fell for an election year gimmick by an awful president, and 25,000 probably voted for him. This website won’t help Rubashkin one bit but if you want to delude yourself go right ahead, I mean they say ignorance is bliss right? Where did Guy Cook get Rubashkin? How many years did Nat Lewin cut off the sentence.

          It’s worth repeating for the slow minded – if you think Rubashkin’s sentence is too long, a point I agree with, then petition for sentence reform for all convicts. Rubashkin was sentenced 100% per the guidelines for the crimes he committed. Just like every other criminal convicted at trial and subject to federal sentencing guidelines. The problem with you is that sentence reform would take a real effort to bring about and you’d rather sign petitions so you can delude yourself into THINKING that you did something so you can sleep at night when in reality you did nothing real. You’d rather blame the judge, the feds and peta than accept that what happened to Rubashkin may SEEM unfair but was 100% within the Law.

    4. Okay, here we go again with all the smr haters.

      Just shut up already.

      How many times do you have to be told that no one is claiming he didn’t play around with the law? All we are saying is that he didn’t get a fair trial, get it?
      27 years isn’t what he deserves. That should be pretty simple to understand.

        • If It makes you happy, I’ll say he broke the law. No problem. That’s what I meant, I just chose different words.
          Stop being stupid, and picking on silly grammar choices I made.

          Listen to what I’m saying:

          YES he broke the law, NO he does not deserve 27 years.

    5. Please sign the petition to legalize (medical) marijuana while you are there. Many people suffer in pain every day through no fault of their own. Please help!

    6. Yes if you look into Rubashkin case and read the court document and etc. He came up against a very harsh judge, under normal circumstances he would have got a slap on the wrist the judge in this case was in cahoots with the prosecution (against the law) So it is in fact injust and if this petition will make even a tiny difference than 2 minutes of your time is worth it. If it was your father or Brother you would do anything you possibly can. Kudos to Lipa for helping out I’m sure we all would too.

    7. he doesn’t deserve 27 years locked up simple as that whatever we can do to try to help. This is a grave injustice no one is saying that he isn’t guilty of a crime but definitely what he is guilty of does not warrant 27 years. Whoever can not understand that fact has serious issues. At this point there is not much we can do but voice our disgust at the handling of this case. Right now the only way we can do that is by signing the petition and writing to our politicians. The president can extend a pardon as we have been requesting also for Jonathan Pollard who also is guilty just that for the crime that he was convicted does not warrant so many years in jail. That is all! As for Lipa he is doing his part stop the jealousy and start doing something for your brethren and stop criticizing those that are doing something to help and bring awareness to the community. Some people only see the negative the way you judge you shall be judged. Remember that now aserei yemei teshuvah your fate will be sealed soon enough. Gmar Chasima Tovah!

      • U’mein V’Umein. Yet the majority of posters here have made a hero out of a convicted felon. Yes, his sentence may seem to long but should his status really be the priority of klal yisroel eruv yom kippur compared to so many other issues?

      • however, that is the exact message that is being sent with the whole SMR fiasco

        many still call him reb

        many still say the holy rubashskin family even thought many have been imprisoned for fraud

        when is the last time a leader a gadol condemned his action? When is the last time you heard a godol a rov said, look these is what happens when you commit fraud?

        maybe someone can show me one gadol who said that

        • The SMR fiasco is that he was sentenced to 27 years, not the campeign to free him.

          In this particular instance, I don’t see in any shape or form where campeigning for SMR release sends any signal that comitting fraud is ok, non what so ever, every right minded person understands the concepts that a punishment needs to fit the crime, and in this case BY FAR it doesn’t fit the crime.

          Do you realy beleive that 27 noted law professors, 47 Congresspeople, 4 former US assistant AGs woke up one morning and came to the conclussion that may perhaps being a theive and a crook is not so bad.

    8. Hashem bless Lipa, the Rubashkin family and all yidden.
      To all of you who say it accomplishes nothing, it is just 2 minutes of hishtadlus with good intentions in this world with no harm to anyone. You don’t know what it does up in shamayim.
      Negative and judgemental comments surely do nothing but spread negativity.
      I just signed the petition.

    9. nobody is perfect, not SMR and not the US Judicial System, it could very well have loop holes where grave injustice could be inflicted on citizens, yes the 27 year, but doesn;t mean it is just, SADOM also had “laws”, doesn’t mean that the US Courts are unfair and unjust, its just not 100% perfect, we are all humans and so were the law makers, and this is where the presidential parodns or commutation of a sentences comes in, to correct the rare inperfection, of our justice system.

    10. I’m not signing the petition because I hope that Obama is really going to do something about SMR. Rather, I signed because I’m supporting a cause. Do you know what kind of feeling a person gets when they see how many Jewish people are all uniting for one cause? It’s awesome if you think about it. Compare this to watching the Unity for Justice video. Did whoever created that video really think that Obama is gonna watch it on his phone and immediately pardon SMR? The video was beyond powerful and brought a tremendous feeling of achdus in Klal Yisroel. So basically, we are signing the petition for US. Not for the Obama Administration.

    11. in the video you see reb moshe berkowitz shlita mashbak of rimnitzer rebbe zt”l standing with a talis in airmont shul listening to reb lipa schmeltzer appeal.

    12. Not to say they are mutually exclusive (and this petition is probably part of the proper approach), but where are the initiatives to educate Jews on the foundation of Judaism, Emes?

    13. thank god, i can perfectly manage to spend excatly one minute to sign a petition and in the same time help the poor, besides it is the white house who put up this petition site, not rubashkin, its fare to assume that the white house didn’t intent to just offer something to the ameican citizens for the fun, have people utilize what they offer then have a good laugh.

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